Account-Based Strategies Go Nowhere Without Cross-Functional Collaboration

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PHOTO:
Anderson

Account-based marketing (ABM) was never just about marketing. From its inception many years ago, ABM practitioners and advocates knew that its success depended on sales team involvement, too. Marketing teams needed sellers’ input to define target-account characteristics (if not the accounts themselves). Further, sales and marketing teams had to agree on goals, engagement tactics, messaging, scoring models and more. Over the years, however, the rapid digitization of both marketing and sales efforts has resulted in greater intra-departmental specialization. In fact, in my first CMSWire byline — published nearly five years ago — I wrote about how the proliferation of marketing technology was both a cause and effect of more specialized marketing roles. This has had a significant impact — both good and bad. The good: marketers and sellers have honed their skills around specific responsibilities and tactics, using key technologies to increase efficiency and efficacy. The bad: Such specialization has divided marketing departments into a range of differentiated functions, in effect creating much dreaded siloes. This makes collaboration for account-based initiatives difficult. As Ashley Cohen, co-founder of B2B marketing consultancy Tenx4, says: Account-based marketing isn’t a tactic. It can’t be stuck in a silo with its own distinct …

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